Ascot preview: British Champions Long Distance Cup (12.45)
David Metcalf | October 16, 2015
Forgotten Rules can bounce back to form to retain his crown in the Group 2 British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot (12.45).
The Dermot Weld trained gelding looked destined to dominate the staying division when winning the race 12 months ago on just his third start.
After being held-up in the last pair, the five-year-old made steady headway on the outside five from home to take up the running side the last and power clear to score by 1 1/2 lengths from Biographer.
Forgotten Rules was then off the track for 211 days before making a winning return to action in a Group 3 contest at Navan, travelling strongly throughout and finding plenty when challenged to win by a cosy 1 1/4 lengths.
The son of Nayef then ran a cracker to finish a 1 1/2 length third of 12 to Trip To Paris in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup, but has since failed to sparkle in two runs at the Curragh.
However, there is nobody more adept than Weld at getting a horse to come back and peak on the big day and, on his Gold Cup run, Forgotten Rules is the one to beat in this grade.
Agent Murphy finished in front of Forgotten Rules last time out when runner-up in the Irish St Leger, and prior to that had run out an impressive five length winner of the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes over 1m 5f at Newbury.
The Brian Meehan trained four-year-old is a big player based on those runs, but is unproven over the 2m trip and I am not convinced that he will stay.
For that reason he is passed over, and a bigger danger to Forgotten Rules could be the ultra-tough Clever Cookie.
The Peter Niven trained seven-year-old has won five of his 10 starts on the level and posted an improved effort when landing a Group 3 at Chester back in May.
Clever Cookie followed up in good style in a Listed contest at York, and was then far from disgraced when fifth of seven to Posptoned in the Group 1 King George at this venue over an inadequate 1m 4f.
The gelding also ran well last time out when fourth in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup, and a big run looks on the cards in a race which should be run to suit.
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Coral’s top tip: Forgotten Rules is a class act on his day and looks decent value to land back-to-back successes in a wide-open renewal.